Arts at the Lewis center PA

The Princeton Atelier is a unique program that brings together professional artists from different disciplines to create new work in the context of a seminar/workshop with Princeton students.  A painter might team with a composer, a choreographer might join with an electrical engineer, a company of theater... Learn More... artists might engage with environmental scientists, or a poet might connect with a pianist. How do artists who work in different media create art together? How do their different practices, experiences, methods and assumptions influence each others’ art-making? Each Atelier finds entirely new and original answers to these questions; each Atelier creates something never done before.  These multi-disciplinary collaborations include Princeton students as witnesses to the creative process, as participants in the new work and as developing artists in their own right.

The Princeton Atelier offers up to four courses a year taught by at least two emerging or distinguished professional guest artists across disciplines or media. Unlike studio courses in other programs, Atelier courses are one-time events built around the visiting artists’ newest work and current preoccupations.  As the artists negotiate their collaborative partnership, they share their expertise and experience with students. Atelier courses typically include reading assignments and creative projects; the day-to-day activities usually include both discussion and “action.” Although Ateliers are process-oriented, they almost always culminate in a work-in-progress reading, showing, exhibition or performance of some kind. Students across all years, majors and areas of interest are welcome to take Atelier courses.

Professor and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who created the Princeton Atelier, observed that “there is a powerful impetus to stretch and freshen one’s work by collaborating with artists in genres other than one’s own.”  Atelier artists have included choreographer Jacques d’Amboise, vocal group Anonymous 4, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, novelist Gabriel García Márquez, visual artist Irina Nakhova, The Civilians, Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock and theater director Peter Sellars.[close]

The Princeton Atelier was endowed in 2009 through the generosity of a donor who has chosen to remain anonymous. The Atelier is additionally supported through The Newhouse Foundation, The Erik C. Blachford '89 Fund, The Schare-Pfaffenroth Endowment Fund, The Jordan Roth '97 Performance Fund and The Peter T. Joseph Foundation.


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